Cynhynfa Country Guest House and Singapore hawker food

So, the story is that I belong to a Facebook group called Singaporeans in the UK and, a few weeks ago, I told the group that I was going on a road trip to Wales. I asked for suggestions and got a lot of helpful advice, which helped me plan my route.

Someone also mentioned that a Singaporean lady owns a bed and breakfast on the border of England and Wales. Since it was in a location that could fit into my then very sketchy route, I thought it would be a great idea to stay a night there.

And so we did!

This is Cynhynfa Country Guest House. (It’s pronounced something along the lines of “ker-nin-fa” if I recall correctly.)

 

Cynhynfa Country Guest House

 

Singaporean Nora runs the bed and breakfast together with her English husband. She’s full of funny stories, on Facebook and in real life, so it was a real pleasure getting to know her.

Her house decor is beautiful! Every piece of furniture and ornament seems to have been carefully picked and thoughtfully placed. The stylish setting indoors was a real surprise after driving through miles and miles of country.

 

 

Our bedroom:

Cynhynfa Country Guest House

 

 

Another bedroom, a little one with a slopey ceiling:

Cynhynfa Country Guest House

 

 

The dining room:

Cynhynfa Country Guest House

 

 

The view from the dining room:

Cynhynfa Country Guest House

 

 

Outside the house:

Cynhynfa Country Guest House

 

Nora was really hospitable. She made us feel at home immediately and fed us some homemade curry puffs because I’d told her that Piers is mad about them, haha. (I mean he is literally crazy about them. When we’re in Singapore, he turns into an excited puppy every time we pass by a stall or shop that sells curry puffs. He’ll be, like, “Oh looooook curry puffs omg!!!”)

She also cooked us a nice Asian dinner at no extra charge because I’m homesick for Singaporean food and it was gorgeous. She and her husband sat down to dinner with us and we had a nice time swapping stories and getting to know one another.

 

 

Sambal tomato prawn:

Sambal tomato prawn

 

 

Chicken curry:

Chicken curry

 

Speaking of Singaporean food, I told Piers about the Gordon Ramsay vs Singapore hawker food challenge and he was really excited because he’s a huge fan of Singaporean food and he thinks it’ll be good for the celebrity chef to try it.

Not quite the reaction I had expected.

Personally, I find it a bit silly because people of different cultures have different taste buds, so the winner of the challenge is going to be affected by where the judges come from and what sort of tastes they’re used to, so how will that prove anything?

Also, they’re going to make Gordon Ramsay cook something he’s probably never even eaten (he did mention a lack of experience in Singaporean food) against people who have cooked those dishes for decades. Huh?

 

Gordon Ramsay vs Singapore

 

Then again, this whole thing is just a publicity stunt to promote Singapore hawker food and give Gordon Ramsay as well as the organisers a lot of publicity, so it’ll probably just be an entertaining show where all parties come off winning, in some way or other.

Sorry about the digression but I had sort of come to an end, anyway.

So, Cynhynfa Country Guest House was a nice start to our entry into Wales. We didn’t really have time to visit around the area but if you look in the website, you will find many great places to visit nearby.

And that’s the problem with holidays, isn’t it? There’s always too much to see and experience, and never enough time to do everything!

Rude shock in Bath

The first thing you’ll notice about the city of Bath is that all the buildings in the entire city are the same colour.

It’s a really novel experience, like you’ve stepped into some fairytale village.

You’ll get an idea from the photos in this post (and the next). They’re all a creamy tan colour, sporting dark brown roofs, just like this pretty cottage we stayed in.

 

Garston Cottage

 

Piers wanted to take me somewhere nice for my last weekend in England, so he booked a night in Garston Cottage, a Bed and Breakfast situated about 15 minutes’ drive from the city centre.

It houses about six rooms, with a shared living room and dining area. Really lovely. We got a bedroom with attached bathroom for £60 a night.

 

Garston Cottage

 

Garston Cottage

 

The shared space is really warm and cosy but I don’t think anyone really hangs out there. Guests would most likely be out catching the pretty sights in the city.

You don’t see any guests or even the owners of the house until breakfast time, when everyone eats a hearty home cooked breakfast at the table together (cereal, fruit salad and full English breakfast).

So homely!

 

Garston Cottage

 

Garston Cottage

 

When I first saw our bedroom, I wondered why there were so many beds. We had four bed spaces.

“Are we expecting company?” I asked Piers.

But he didn’t reply because he was already fast asleep on one of the beds after a two-hour drive early in the morning.

 

Garston Cottage

 

Garston Cottage

 

I’m kidding. He didn’t really fall asleep. He very diligently started reading brochures in order to plan our day in Bath.

 

Garston Cottage

 

What he really said was, “Only the best for my princess.”

He had gotten us the biggest room in the house!

Okay, he didn’t really say those exact words. I can’t remember what he said, actually, but he can be very sweet. When he’s not being naughty and pretending to be mean. Which can be quite often.

 

Garston Cottage

 

Love the little towel elephants on the beds!

You can see one beside Piers in the above photo but I think he mangled it up a bit while lying there.

 

Garston Cottage

 

Or maybe I was the one who did it.

 

Garston Cottage

 

Or whatever.

It was a really nice room. Wished I could lounge around in it all day, but then we had to go sightseeing and look at mouldy old Roman baths. And I had to find out what the fuss was about the city of Bath.

Many people had told me I MUST visit Bath and many people turned out to be right.

Bath is so beautiful!

Although, actually, our first two hours was a bit shocking because the first four people we encountered in a row were quite rude!

 

#1

First was someone from Garston Cottage. Dunno the owner or someone. He had just come out of the “office” next to the living room when we were just about to leave the cottage and were figuring out where the bus stop was.

Piers said hi to him and he just kinda grunted a reply. Piers then asked where the bus stop was and he kinda said a bit curtly, “Down the road.”

But then he said something about losing a wallet, and he was kinda like looking for stuff, and Piers said he was on the phone or something, so I suppose that’s forgivable.

 

Garston Cottage

 

#2

Bus driver. I said hi to him but he didn’t respond and didn’t even smile back!

The bus drivers I met in Bournemouth always said hi and smiled even before I did. =(

By the way, bus stops in Bath are really cute!

 

Bath

 

Bath

 

#3

On our way into the city centre on the bus, we passed by an Apple shop, so we quickly got off the bus so Piers could ask if they had any iPad 2s.

The guy in the shop was really unfriendly and haughty! He was, like, “There’s no way you can get an iPad 2 now.”

So different from the guys in the Bournemouth town centre Apple shop. We went in there many days consecutively asking for the iPad 2 and they never once got impatient with us.

 

Bath

 

#4

We had lunch at this rowdy pub and when we were served our food, Piers helped me ask if they had sweet chilli sauce and the waiter just curtly said, “No,” and walked away.

They had food items on the menu accompanied by sweet chilli sauce and I had thought it would be nice to get some for my fries.

Anyway, we had a lousy lunch because the food wasn’t so good and the table next to us was so noisy. These three women and a man were half-drunk and laughing and talking too loud.

 

Bath

 

Luckily, all these mean people were consolidated in our first two hours. Thereafter, everyone else we met were nice, so that made it easy for me to forgive the city and write the first two hours off as a fluke.

Okay, I had planned to do the entire Bath in one post, but it’s getting so long already and I haven’t even really started on the attractions. LOL. Have to do it in the next post cos I have loads more photos!

Here are just a few more random ones to wrap up.

 

The view outside our window:

 

Bath

 

Bath

 

Bath

 

Around the neighbourhood:

 

Bath

 

Bath

 

First views of the city centre:

 

Bath

 

Bath

 

Bath

 

Bath

 

Bath

 

Bath

 

Bath

 

Bath

 

Roman baths in the next post, and more creamy tan buildings!